Tonor TC-777 USB Condenser Microphone Review & Shootout
Big thank you to Tonor for sending me the TC-777 for review!
1,800-word post, approx. 4 min. read
10/24/20. Article posted.
The Tonor TC-777 USB Condenser Microphone. What does it sound like? How does it compare to other mics in a similar price range? Is it worth the investment? Does Barry Manilow know that you raid his wardrobe?
All of these answers and more, comin’ up.
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Now, let’s talk about the Tonor TC-777 USB Condenser Microphone and find out how it stacks up against some other budget mics I’ve owned or still own.
First, we’ll talk about build and accessories.
The mic feels a bit light in my hand, but not cheap. It’s about what you’d expect for its price.
It comes with a fold-up mic stand similar to that of the Blue Snowball, a built-in shock-mount, a convenient windscreen, a built-in pop filter arm with a screw on screen, and a 2-year warranty. Pretty nifty. There’s also a service card and user manual that all are contained in a box.
I tested the mic with a few different placements and found that actually holding it in my hand level with my mouth yielded the best result.
You don’t say? 😂
This may seem rudimentary, but you have to remember that it comes with a desktop stand. I feel as though this was an issue with the Blue Snowball, and is a problem here as well. While providing a stand is convenient, it’s not ideal as far as sound quality goes because of the fact that you’re sort of speaking down into it, rather than level with it.
If you’re going to purchase this mic, I would highly recommend a scissor arm. The quality difference to me was night and day, with placement being of the utmost importance here.
Blue Snowball vs. Tonor TC-777
I also think the sound quality of the Tonor is light years better than a Snowball, but I’ll let you be the judge:
I was pretty disappointed in the Snowball, and would recommend the Tonor over it every day and twice on Sunday, homie!
Considering its price, performance, and accessories, it really dumps on the Snowball and then some. The Snowball has always hovered around the $50 mark, and I really don’t think it’s worth that much.
To me, it sounds thin, tinny, and hollowed out by comparison. In fact, I’m not sure how it consistently gets such high marks on Amazon, but I digress.
One issue I have with the Tonor is volume. It sounds pretty quiet in comparison to the other demos I did. The recordings you’re hearing are with a +8dB boost. In talking with my normal voice, I found it to be a bit on the quiet side. No big deal. Just boost it up in post-production, or raise the volume inside the program you’re using to record.
I found the Samson to be more clear and articulate. It also costs around $50. Unlike the Snowball, I feel as though the Go Mic is absolutely worth the price. Does it sound better?
Let’s find out:
Samson Go Mic
I would say that yes, the Go Mic does sound ever so slightly cleaner and more articulate than the Tonor, but you’ll notice some ambient noise present in the Go Mic recording. Keep this in mind moving forward. Note how quiet the TC-777 is.
Samson Meteorite vs. Tonor TC-777
What’s cool about the Tonor is that it does a pretty excellent job at filtering out the noise, unlike a Samson Meteorite, which I also owned at one point. The Meteorite is a bit bright and essy in the high registers, and like the Snowball, sounds kind of tinny and metallic to my ear.
Let’s take a listen:
The Tonor easily beats the Meteorite in my estimation.
What about the Meteor though?
Samson Meteor vs. Tonor TC-777
Like the Go Mic vs. TC-777 comparison, this one is also quite close. I do think the Meteor edges out the Tonor by a smidgen, but again, it’s a photo finish. The Meteor also picks up a bit more background noise than I would like, while the TC-777 is very clean.
The more I listen to the TC-777 in comparison to these mics, the more I like it. I’m noticing that both the Go Mic and Meteor sound articulate but at the expense of a bit too much brightness in the treble.
The Tonor actually reminds me of the Samson C01, my all-time favorite XLR condenser microphone. Like the C01, the Tonor has that radio broadcast type of warmth to it, and just sounds pleasant and still detailed without being overbearing. It never feels like it’s trying too hard. Related:How to Choose a Microphone | EVERYTHING YOU SHOULD KNOW!!
But what about the Yeti?
Lastly, we’ll compare the Blue Yeti to the TC-777. Probably unfair given its price jump, but interesting nonetheless.
Blue Yeti vs. Tonor TC-777
Like the Go Mic and Meteor, I also found the Yeti to sound a bit cleaner and more articulate than the Tonor. Still, the Tonor really holds its own and doesn’t get embarrassed here. It’s a great mic.
For the price and accessories you’re getting, it’s hard to beat.
To be honest, the Yeti doesn’t sound all that much better side by side, and you may actually like the unique tone of the TC-777 more. The Yeti by contrast seems a lot more sterile, while the Tonor has some extra scruffy character. Sort of like a mountain man with a big beard.
What’s interesting to me is how the market has shifted since I demoed and owned some of these. The Meteorite has sort of faded into obscurity, and rightly so. It’s a piece of crap and sounds pretty terrible, lol.
I have no idea what Samson was thinking with that one, but their Go Mic is fantastic. The Meteor is also quite good but is a bit more expensive than the Go without a real reason to be.
Out of all these, it comes down to either the Tonor or Go Mic in this general price range. The Tonor really excels in noise reduction and sounds pretty phenomenal for $30. With the Go Mic, I can hear some things going on in the background, and there’s some subtle ambiance in there as well. With the Tonor, everything’s mostly quiet. This could steer you in one direction or the other. For me, it kind of seals the deal.
For a features upgrade, look to the Blue Yeti. I have used one for over 3 years and don’t plan on getting rid of it. Like the Go Mic, the problem with the Yeti is also noise. With both the Yeti and Go Mic, you’re sacrificing more noise for better quality. I love how articulate and clean both sounds, but I don’t much like the noise that comes with it.
So what’s my final word?
The Yeti can do many things. For an all in one solution, it’s hard to beat with its 4 polar patterns, volume knob, gain, no latency jack, compatibility with PS4, etc.
The Go Mic sounds better to me than the Tonor, but the Tonor is:
More convenient in that it can simply be unscrewed from its tripod stand and attached to a scissor arm for optimal placement. For the price and its accessories, it’s hard to beat for around $30.
It picks up hardly any background noise at all, and for a USB mic to do that is pretty impressive. When you also consider that I live right next to a highway and I recorded next to a window, it becomes especially mind-blowing. If all that wasn’t enough, it also sounds exemplary. The tonality is excellent.
I was not going into this shootout thinking I would prefer the Tonor TC-777 over the rest of them, but I came away shocked at how good it sounds. The proof is right there in the pudding. Pound for pound, I do think it outperforms the other mics and doesn’t sound artificial while doing so. It’s a smooth, natural sound that compliments my own voice beautifully.
Stu is determined to help you make sound decisions, and strives to deliver the best and most in depth content on the internet! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, pray, rap, make beats, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His sense of humour, coupled with a knack for excellence and strict attention to detail are what allow him to stand out in an crowded industry.